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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Apr 2009

    eek The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    This is a campaign world Iíve used and developed for the past 6 years or so for 3.5. I recently revamped the world and forwarded it 1500 years from where I had been playing so a lot changed. Basically Nerull has gained control of most of the material plane and the overlapping planes such as the ethereal leaving only pockets of nations ruled by the living that have not been in contact with each other for several centuries in the current time. A more detailed account can be found in the ďHistory of NesdaĒ section. For now Iím just getting it up on the boards Iíll work on exactly what needs working in the next week but until then any general comments or ideas are greatly appreciated. Dead Nations skeleton info will be up soon too!

    The Era of Nerull Campaign

    Welcome to the world of Nesda in one of its darkest hours. The Era of Nerull has begun and the menaces of the undead that have conquered most of the material plane in Nerullís unholy name have begun to stir once more. The few remaining free nations have been cut off from each other for centuries, extradimensional travel is extremely dangerous and resources are scarce as the land dies and the gods of nature have been shut off from the plane. In the dead nations liches, vampires, dracoliches and other undead millennia old are in wait with millions of animated corpses at their command to pour forth and devour the last bit of light from the world. Who do you stand with in these times? Protect what little freedom remains, join the undead in conquest or simply try to survive in a world where the living have lost their placeÖ

    The History of Nesda
    In the very beginning of time as it known on the planes there must have been something but nobody, not even the oldest of the gods remember that time. What is known is that their were generations of deities born and the first nine deities are now known as the old gods. Most of their names and the knowledge of their existence has been lost to mortals only Io, Boccob and Fharlanghn are still called by their true names. The other six are known only by titles; the Great Herder, the Black Guardian, the Magistrate, the Crafter, the Watcher and the Primordial.
    Some believe the Crafter is the true originator of the multiverse but none know for sure. When the Old Gods were born so were the lower planes symbolizing law and chaos as well as the elemental planes that other planes would be based from. The Black Guardian was given domain over the lower planes to keep the peace between devils and demons and the Primordial watched over the elemental planes. The astral plane was created to give the first sentient creatures a home to live in and explore the other planes if desired.
    The only sentient creatures alive were demons, devils and true dragons. This was before the dragons had split into their many species and their immediate dispersal to the elemental planes started the slow process of differentiation. The demons and devils of this early time were beings of pure law and chaos, the dichotomy of good and evil did not exist yet but that would soon change with the first rebellion of the lower planes.
    When the first rebellion began it was for freedom but as more fiends were free a select few began taking control and fought amongst themselves as well as against the Black Guardian. This infighting was between the demons and devils known in modern times and what would become the angels and archons of the upper planes. If it had not been for this infighting they likely would have succeeded in overthrowing the Black Guardian.
    The first rebellion of the lower planes had two major results. The first was that the Old Gods recognized the axis of good and evil and created the upper planes for the ďgood fiendsĒ to make their home. The second consequence was another generation of deities as war brought new aspects of the multiverse into being. The concept of death embodied by Nerull, the opposing ideas of righteous good and oppressive tyranny brought forth the twins Heironeous and Hextor and the concept of vengeance and justice gave birth to St. Cuthbert were just a few of the most important.
    Seeing that the multiverse had been altered forever the Crafter created new planes and creatures to inhabit them. But these new creatures were different than before, while they may show some characteristics of an idea or concept they were allowed minds that could adapt new philosophies and evolve over time. The Shadow, Ethereal and Material planes were all created in this stage and the first new race to come forth was the human.
    These new creatures were incredibly diverse and adaptable and prone to fickly minds and souls. This first race created many new gods as the Old Gods observed them worshipping different things, the Sun became Pelor and nature Obad-Hai. Many more would follow and this was the third generation of deities.
    A little further on more races were created and this time each one received a single deity to watch over them. Dwarves, elves, gnomes, goblinoids, halflings, Kobolds and giants were given life at this time; the fourth generation of gods. At this time the second rebellion of the lower planes occurred and one of the Old Gods was struck down.
    With the Black Guardianís fall many of the Old Gods fell silent and have remained so this day. Those still known are the ones that kept active in the affairs of mortals and steered the multiverse throughout its history.

    The history of Nesda stretches back farther than mere mortals can imagine and even most gods do not know all that has come and gone in the world but here is a brief history from a mortalís point of view on the material plane. The timeline below has a very brief run-through of some of these events.

    The Astral Calendar is the standard for the living Nations as the Dead Nations seldom keep track of time due to their immortality.

    Year -1034: The capital city, Zenthos, of an ancient kingdom is destroyed overnight and becomes a haunted graveyard of the walking dead.

    Year -326: The ancient kingdom of Dranis, ruled by Death Giants, is destroyed and the sunken sea is created.

    Year 28: The Kingdom of Narsil is established and the Astral Calendar becomes standard across what will become the civilized lands.

    Years 2180-2205: The Fallen Empireís expansion across the Nesdan continent and then eventual fall.

    Year 2203: Lord Kristak deposes King Gardisk III of Hagrath.

    Year 2205: The alliance against the Fallen Empire takes form and the Great War comes to an end.

    Year 2215: The city of Hagrath, Lord Kristak, many nobles, and the majority of the army is destroyed in a catastrophe.

    Year 2215-2216: The country of Hagrath dissolves into rebel factions and civil war is rampant.

    Year 2216: Hagrath is reformed into two smaller countries; Ethrine under a former noblewoman and the larger part renamed Athear Gix under a silver dragon named Aveswisp.

    Year 2218: The countries of Celentrus, Pellingresh and the Sand Dynasty begin to decline economically as portals and other magic trade systems make water routes obsolete.

    Year 2219: The country of Frent is created with the support of King Thoman Narsil III of Narsil, the move is unpopular amongst many of the nobles.

    Year 2219: Mass migration of gnomes from the Sand Dynasty move to the Civilized Lands, particularly Athear Gix, Celentrus, and Pellingresh.

    Year 2221: The Arcane Order is ejected from Athear Gix by Aveswisp on the grounds of extortion and treason.

    Year 2222: Aveswisp disappears and is supplanted by a mysterious figure who controls beings of shadows and calls himself The Dark One in the capital. The rest of the country falls into political chaos once more.

    Year 2223: The city-state of Krusk-Baggran is founded in the southwest when a group of gnolls lead by the orc Krusk take over and settle the former free-town of Baggran.

    Year 2567: The first of the death generals appears in the far south and begins its conquest of the Sand Dynasty and the surrounding areas.

    Year 2570: Undead are more commonly encountered in the wilds and begin attacking outpost settlements.

    Year 2571: The Agrith Empire declares war on the Civilized Lands with little apparent reason.

    Year 2577: The undead have made travel in between countries incredibly dangerous even with bodyguards, nonmagical communication is slowed.

    Year 2580: The second and third death generals reveal themselves and it is also revealed that the Agrith Empire has been under their thumb for decades. As the Agrith Empire presses the attack a traitor among the civilized lands appears as Litira too is found to be ruled in truth by a death general and the country of Beltrad is annihilated.

    Year 2581: The death generals and their armies press further on many countries are destroyed or severely pressed, only Gondu, Grisal, the Fallen Empire, Narsil and Durgoth are holding their own.

    Year 2582: The Death Crusades begin in earnest as dozens of dracoliches are unleashed from the northeast and proceed to systematically destroy Gondu. Durgoth begins to lose open battles and retreats deep within the mountains. The remains of Inba, Dekmar, and Gondu are forced to flee to the islands of the Frozen archipelago to the north.

    Year 2592: Of the civilized lands only Narsil and Grisal still remain in any true form of power. Durgoth has fortified themselves deep in the roots of their mountain homes and given up much of their land. The fallen empire manages to drive back the undead for a brief time and erects a massive wall of iron and ice as well as magical protections around their entire border. The remains of the merchant nations have fled to sea where they gather to form what will become the City of Wind and Wave.

    Year 2594: The Fallen Empire is reformed into the Cohar Republic.

    Year 2598: Narsil manages to accomplish a similar feat to the former Fallen Empire and erect a massive wall of iron and magic around themselves.

    Year 2600: The age of Nerull begins. The undead stop actively campaigning against the remaining nations and build, or in some cases rebuild, the Death Cities of Coldcreep, Litria, AkíManus and Xenthos. Resurrection magic begins to fail and the power of those gods attached to nature begins to weaken.

    Year 2843: The territories of the undead have been split up among the death generals and the dracoliches serve as the common rulers of major cities or regions. The gods of nature, Yondalla and Obad-Hai chief among them, are separated from the material plane and in a last gift they raise the landmass known as the Haven far out in the Endless Ocean and transport many of their followers there. Those that rely on nature for magic lose their abilities.

    Year 2902: The former druid Alasmos Fenfeeder discovers a new source of druidic magic that allows them to regain many of their lost abilities through something akin to reverse necromancy.

    Year 3043: Scrying magic becomes unreliable beyond the bounds of countries that have specially protected themselves.

    Year 3278: Magical communication is entirely cut off, leaving each nation isolated from any others.

    Year 3587: The territory outside of any country becomes impassable from the thickness of undead and the lands themselves are often just barely alive.

    Year 3600(Current): The territories of Nerull stir once more after nearly a millennium of relative peaceÖ

    The Living Nations
    As undead in the countless millions wander about the material plane a few pockets of civilization still attempt to press through and find a way to be truly free once more. There are only a handful of nations that count the living as their rulers still: the City of Wind and Wave, Cohar Republic, Dekmar ,Durgoth, Gondu, Grisal, Inba and Narsil.

    The City of Wind and Wave
    Government Type: Dynastic Magocracy
    Capital: None
    Ruler(s): Akmian Restere, Kaltish Castmine, Alvindor Fangleeder, Jasmine Pycni, Xantu Wister
    Population: 326,000 (75% Human, 10% Halfling, 5% Gnome, 10% other)
    Religion: Free worship with the exception of evil deities

    The City of Wind and Wave is the remains of what were once the merchant nations along the coast, principally Celentrus and Pellingresh. They fled to sea long ago to escape the larger land armies of undead during the Death Crusades. Forced to combine their resources the fleets banded together and eventually were able to establish a massive flotilla of ships that might as well be an island. But this was not enough to protect them and they knew it well and crafted dozens of ships that housed small manors of arcane and divine casters. These ward off the undead and the influence of Nerull.

    Very quickly those that controlled the means to protect the fleet with their magic found themselves in power. The power of these first individuals became consolidated in a few families and the eldest member of each house is one of the five that are the final word in this nation.

    The Cohar Republic
    Government Type: Republic
    Capital: Rastford
    Ruler(s): Head of State, Galmere Cohar
    Population: 2,235,000 (70% Goblinoid, 30% Human)
    Religion: Worship of evil deities forbidden

    A few hundred years before the Death Crusades began the Cohar Republic was known as the Fallen Empire and went on an empire-building crusade of their own known as the Great War. Internal unrest within the royal family of Cohar led to its armiesí failure and early on in the Death Crusades the government was reformed into a republic though the Cohar family continues to hold some of the highest offices.

    The Cohar Republic was always different from the other nations, being much more further east they did not contain the same races. In fact much of the population was goblinoid at its founding and has continued to be so to this day. As the Era of Nerull began the races of the Coahr Republic became socially stratified to different duties that each excelled at.

    Government Type: Theocracy
    Capital: Bitterleaf
    Ruler(s): High Confessor Amiline Starlighter
    Population: 532,000 (99% Elf, 1% other)
    Religion: Elven Panthenon is the state religion but non-evil worship is allowed

    Before the Death Crusades Dekmar was a nation of elves that had settled in the northern forests of the civilized lands and adopted the more urban habits of the human nations to there south. When the Great War broke out they were spared the destruction of the elves that still dwelt in the wilds to the east.

    When the Death Crusades began Dekmar was hard-pressed to hold their land and the betrayal of Litria drove them from the mainland to a few islands in the Frozen archipelago that they had explored centuries before.

    Government Type: Divine Monarchy
    Capital: Ironcage
    Ruler(s): King Orthos Irongut
    Population: 1,145,000 (99% Dwarf, 1% other)
    Religion: Dwarven Panthenon is the state religion, all others banned

    Government Type: Magocracy
    Capital: Jade Mountain
    Ruler(s): Archmage Yaníki Aínal
    Population: 236,000 (70% Human, 10% Elf, 5% Half-elf, 5% Gnome, 10% other)
    Religion: Free worship of all magic gods except Vecna. All non-magic associated evil gods are banned.

    Government Type: Divine Monarchy
    Capital: Underkeep
    Ruler(s): Stone Mother Darshin Mountainfoot
    Population: 668,000 (99% Dwarf, 1% other)
    Religion: State religion is the dwarven panthenon, free worship of good gods

    The Haven
    Government Type: Tribal
    Capital: None
    Ruler(s): World Breather Alastin Aves
    Population: 667,000 (85% Elf, 10% Human, 5% other)
    Religion: Free worship of good gods

    Government Type: Military Dictatorship
    Capital: Krakos
    Ruler(s): Supreme General Ettlin Mascor
    Population: 667,000 (85% Elf, 10% Human, 5% other)
    Religion: Free worship of good gods

    Government Type: Absolute Monarchy
    Capital: Narsilii
    Ruler(s): King Drakos Dashtir
    Population: 1,641,000 (75% Human, 15% Halfling, 5% Elf, 5% other)

    Magic in the Era of Nerull
    Arcane Magic: In all nations both living and dead Arcane Magic still thrives and especially for the living nations as resources are pushed to the limits and undead are a constant threat it is a necessity. All the living nations rely on some degree of arcane magic to guard there borders from undead and unlike divine magic it functions at the same power level everywhere.
    The now island nation of Gondu remains a magocracy known as the Arcane Order and continues to rely almost exclusively on arcane magic to protect itself. Durgoth, Inba and the city of Wind and Wave also rely heavily on arcane magic but supplement it with divine.

    Divine Magic: The story of divine magic is much different, where once it functioned in much the same way as arcane when Nerull began to control the material plane he dampened the influence of other deities. Outside of their protected cities clerics found that their magic wasnít quite as strong while worshipperís of Nerull were stronger than usual. In the Death Cities, the capitals or each Dead Nation, that difference is even greater with the blessing of Nerull infusing the area with negative energy.

    Those who once relied on nature or the gods of nature to support their magic found that as Nerullís influence grew their magic quickly dwindled until the deities of nature were forced from influencing the material plane altogether. In a last bid to protect their followers and nature those same gods raised an enormous island in the Endless Sea and transported their followers and beasts to it. There alone nature flourishes but even so for over half a century magic for druids, ranger and other nature worshipping groups did not function. Eventually Nerullís influence grew so great that it degraded the landscapes not specially protected and became thick in the air. A druid learned to gather the bits of the living energies that had been broken down to fuel his magic once more and spread this practice quickly until it became the norm.

    In territories outside the living nations all divine magic, except those cast by worshippers of Nerull, has its DC reduced by 1. Worshippers of Nerull outside the living nations receive a +1 to divine magic they cast and in the Death Cities of Coldcreep, Akímanus, Litria and Xenthos these modifiers are doubled. There are additional worries when entering Death Cities, see the nations section for more information.

    Magic Items: During the death crusades all of the living nations were pushed to the brink of extinction, most fell under the onslaught of the undead hordes but not all. As Nerullís aura penetrated the material plane the residual magic that could be called upon to bestow magic into items became scarce. The same aura of death drove the residual magic into living beings and it is from these that the energy to craft magical items is now drawn. The task of harvesting this magical substance, known as vith, is not an easy process and almost certainly requires the death of the creature. This has made dealing with the substance somewhat dangerous as it tends to accumulate in the dealers making themselves potent targets for harvesting. Some of the living nations have created vith farms but they must be very cautious of how they spend resources and the process is tightly controlled by the governments. Only those standing high in society or government have any magic items at all usually.

    Crafting Magic Items: I generally do not use experience points in my campaigns for a variety of reasons and the vith system that follows is an alternate route for creating magic items. It is untested and most likely will have some balance issues but here are the current mechanics.

    The substance known as vith takes the place of experience points in the case of item creation and in most spells that require experience points as a cost. A unit of vith is equivalent to 10 experience points and is consumed just as experience would be during casting or item creation. Vith can be harvested off of any living creatures but how many units of vith can be harvested from a single creature is determined by its type and size. The base value of vith is for a medium-sized creature of that type. Creatures with class levels have additional vith that is added to their base units before being modified for size equal to Ĺ their class levels.

    Will format table in a little bit for viewing

    Extradimensional Travel: As Nerullís Death Generals began their invasion and dracoliches took to the air normal means of travel became increasingly dangerous until it was considered suicide.

    At that point teleportation was still viable and became the only means of traveling between the isolated living nations. But all extradimensional travel requires traversing one of three planes: Astral, Shadow or ethereal. Nerullís forces invaded these planes as well and soon were able to hijack teleporting caravans to bypass living nationís defenses. It soon became apparent to the living nations that the endeavor was far too risky after several invasions by undead on other planes and so the governments put a ban on extradimensional travel.

    Now the last line of communication was by scrying and sending spells but soon even those were disrupted by the agents of Nerull. Within the confines of each living nation these spells function as normal and outside the boundaries of a living nation they work across the Undeadís territories.

    Resurrection Magic: As the god of death and now near ruler of the material plane Nerull has the power to deny the souls of the dead from returning to the material plane if he wishes. As such all resurrection attempts on subjects automatically fail if the subject is not in the favor of Nerull with two exceptions. A wish spell may restore a creature to life and a druidís reincarnation spell may also bring a subject back. The only reason that a reincarnation works is because it must be done quickly while the subjectís soul has not yet left the material plane and the druidís unique reverse necromancy magic is able to reconstruct a body and bind a soul to it.

    Corpsecrafting: In a world ruled mostly by undead necromancy has been under open and intense study leading to all sorts of new improved techniques. In particular the altering and augmenting of the dead, known as corpsecrafting has greatly improved over older methods.

    Ultimate Corspecrafting Rules from Katarl on GITP with permission.

    The cosmology of Nesda has the material, shadow, astral and ethereal planes paralleling and overlapping each other in a middle ring. In the center of this ring lie the elemental planes of water, earth, fire, air, positive energy, negative energy and time. Below all this lies a pair of planes, the abyss and the Nine Hells while above in opposition are the Celestial realms. Small artificial planes reside as pocket in the planes they were created on.

    In the Era of Nerull the most powerful influence on the material plane is obviously Nerull but many others still have influences on the land while others have been cut off or fallen to Nerullís conquest.

    The Infernal Planes
    A few hundred years before the undead invasion that culminated in the Death Crusades began the demon-lord and proto god Orcus was imprisoned and the abyss flew into even greater chaos than usual. As Nerull began to invade the material plane the good gods fought back how they could. Bocoob had been harboring the remains of one of the old gods, the Black Guardian, and revived him to begin his duties once more of corralling the demons and devils so there was one less front. There was resistance from both demons and devils of course, especially with the top arch-devil Asmodeus who was a deity himself in power, but eventually the Black Guardian pushed his will of peace onto these creatures. Unfortunately, Asmodeus alone needed a great deal of power to contain and some demon-lords and arch devils escaped the Black Guardians grasp fleeing to small demiplanes where they could try and rebuild their power individually but very few of the lower demons or devils could escape with them and so these creatures which once commanded thousands have only a handful of servants.

    The Celestial Planes
    As Nerullís plans of domination for the material plan were made clear to the good gods swift action had to be undertaken but Nerull is one of the oldest forces and had already taken measures to seal away other deities that could threaten him. As his armies moved across the material plane his power grew and he was able to shut out the deities of nature entirely from the material plane. Pelor, Heironeuos, Bocoob and St. Cuthbert have been Nerullís chief opponents and each has had to concentrate their powers on the relatively small areas of the living nations just to keep the same level of power they once had. Outside those boundaries they are weakened by Nerullís interference. They have come to a standstill with Nerull for now, but it is tenuous and some of the more aggressive gods are pushing for action.

    Original Deities
    Ashriel is a mysterious and new deity that is just beginning to emerge on the material plane, he is lawful neutral and his sign is a purple and black butterfly with a skull pattern on its wings. His titles include the Shadow Count and the Spirit of Dusk. Ashrielís goals are not known and as a new power his worshippers are few, let alone any temples. Among his few worshippers are those that seek power from shadow and work in them as well. The domains he is associated with are Knowledge, Magic and Trickery and his favored weapon is the rapier.

    Elysian was a mortal that ascended to godhood along with Krusk and Randusk a few centuries before the Death Generals appeared. He is chaotic neutral and is prone to whims of curiosity and destruction. He also has an affinity for blood which has given him the title of Blood Seeker. His symbol is a bloody palm with pulsing veins. His followers are berserkers and destructive mages, particularly sorcerers, and often they are multiclassed. His domains are Chaos, Blood and Destruction and his favored weapon is the punching dagger.

    Krusk rose to the level of a deity at the same time as Randusk and Elysian from once being a mortal orc, he is true neutral. He has actively explored the entirety of the material plane and slew the demon-lord Yeeghonu and took his place as the gnollís deity. He is also immensely strong physically and surprisingly intelligent. His worshippers are mostly gnolls and goblinoids that find strength in his teaching to shrug off the pain of slavery. His symbol is of a massive orc wearing a gnoll-like pelt and wielding a greatsword. The domains he is associated with are Strength, Travel and Competition and his favored weapon is the greatsword.

    Randusk arose to godhood along with Krusk and Elysian a few centuries before the Death Crusades, he is neutral evil. He was too ambitious and nearly became a pawn of Nerull but was rescued by Ashriel but not before he was partially transformed to an undead. He holds the title of the half-dead herald, the wisp and the Scheming shadow and his symbol is that a pair of eyes one a pinprick of red the other blue staring out from a black background. His followers are few and secretive in their worship for he is partially undead himself and creatures in both the living and dead nations oppose him. His domains are Celerity, Domination and Trickery and his favored weapon is the crossbow.

    The Black Guardian
    One of the old gods that fashioned the multiverse the Black Guardianís actual name has been lost to time even by the god himself. His task at the beginning of time was to suppress the beings of chaos, demons and devils, from warring on each other. He did this through mental domination but some slipped from his control and the first rebellion occurred. The Black Guardian lost one eye but was able to regain control but unknown to him the demon Orcus, who was a minor general in the first rebellion, rose from the dead and because of his state was immune to the Black Guardianís mind control. He gathered his own forces and rebelled once more this time successfully deposing the Black Guardian and initiating the Blood War.

    The Black Guardianís soul was split into 6 pieces across the planes of existence in his glass eye until all the piece were gathered once more by a group of adventurers that included Krusk, Randusk and Elysian. They gave the pieces to Bocoob who resurrected the Black Guardian at the start of the Death Crusades to resume his duty once more. While he was successful in retaking control of the demons and devils some of the more powerful ones escaped from his will and fled to demiplanes.

    The Black Guardian is true neutral and has few followers though he has a fair amount of temples in his honor. His followers are generally reserved and strong-willed with a sense of purpose. The Black Guardianís Symbol is an old man in a black cloak looking out with one eye. His domains are Mind, Protection and Domination and his favored weapon is the quarterstaff.

    The Great Herder
    The Great Herder is one of the Old Gods that helped create the multiverse, he is the overgod of all living things, particularly animals, he is true neutral. His followers are almost nonexistent as he distanced himself from mortal affairs long ago and very few even know of his existence. His symbol is a chimera lying asleep. The domains he is associated with are Animal, Earth and Plant and his favored weapon is the sap.

    The Magistrate
    One of the Old Gods that fashioned the multiverse the Magistrate is the grand organizer of all civilizations good and evil, urbanized or tribal. She is true neutral and her followers are extremely few and far between since societies canít reconcile their differences and appreciate their similarities and accomplishments. Her symbol is an inked quill poised over a blank parchment. The domains she is associated with are Community, Creation and Protection and her favored weapon is the longsword.

    The Crafter
    The Crafter is an entity almost entirely unknown to mortals or even young gods as it is one of the Old Gods that fashioned the world, the Crafter may even be the original God that began all creation but such questions can only be speculated upon as the Crafter has been silent since near the beginning of time. The Crafter is true neutral and its symbol is a block of clay with a sculpting knife leaning on it. The Crafterís domains are Creation, Dream and Mysticism and his favored weapon is the knife (dagger).

    The Watcher is one of the Old Gods that created the multiverse. He is the record-keeper observing and seeing all but never taking part in the events, he is true neutral. Watcherís followers are scattered across the planes and are solitary contemplative creatures. His symbol is a white bird overlooking a city from the sky. His domains are Knowledge, Travel and Oracle and his favored weapon is the rapier.

    The Primordial
    The Primordial is one of the Old Gods that existed at the beginning of the multiverse. The Primordial is a being representative of the four elements of nature, it is true neutral. The Primordialís followers are most common, for obvious reasons, on the elemental planes but occasionally a mage with an elemental affinity will worship The Primordial as well. His symbol is diamond with a symbol for each element in one corner. The Primordialís domains are Air, Earth, Fire and Water and its favored weapon is the great club.

    Standard Deity Alterations
    One of the Old Gods that helped forge the world Io is true neutral and the over-god of all dragonkind. When Nerull took to conquering the material plane many gods, particularly Bahamut, turned to Io for guidance and opposition to his actions. Io made no move, in fact he did not respond in any way and though he still grants his followers spells he does not answer their calls.

    Death is inevitable for all things but in the very beginning of the world this was not so. Death did not yet exist but it did not take long and Nerull was born as the second generation of deities. As Nerull watched the living go about their lives and then cower in fear of him he was angered. When the gods took the souls of their followers instead of letting him have them he was spiteful, he had nothing else. All things should experience death, true death, where not even the spirit was allowed to survive. So Nerull selected his avatar on the material plane and set him forth with a grand plan. Over millennia his forces slowly grew as powerful undead were recruited and hordes stored away until as last the time to attack came.

    Nerull unleashed his forces on all fronts, the material plane, the shadow plane, the ethereal plane and the celestial realms to punish even the great deities of old for their arrogance. Though the celestial realm went unconquered Nerull succeeded in securing the ethereal, shadow and astral plane as well as most of the material plane. With the lines drawn Nerull has been working to coerce some of the evil deities to his side and his forces are stirring again.

    Orcus once overthrew the Black Guardian in the second revolt of the lower planes and though he was never a true deity his powers were on par with them and he had many followers. In a bid to take control of the abyss Orcus attempted to reassemble the shards of the Black Guardianís spirit and then absorb his powers but this plot went awry and Orcusí soul was trapped and then destroyed instead. This was good news as far as most were concerned but Orcusí undead hordes were quickly assimilated into Nerullís forces without much notice, bolstering his power in preparation.

    The patron god of nature Obad-Hai once has many followers on the material plane but as Nerullís influence crept across the land his power became greatly weakened. Eventually he was cut off entirely from the material plane and he now seeks a means to defeat Nerull and restore natureís proper balance.

    The lich-lord of forbidden knowledge he and Nerull forged an alliance long ago and it was from Vecna that the secret of dracolich transformation. Their plans were laid togethether but Nerull betrayed Vecna and forced him into servitude. Now the lich-lord is forced to divulge all his mysteries to Nerull even as he urges his few remaining followers to hide away any knowledge they can and seek a way to free him.

    Wee Jas
    The demanding goddess once tried to thwart the plans of Nerull and maintain some control over the undead and necromancers. She was one of the first gods to note Nerullís advances but she had no allies among the powerful deities of good that would be able to do something until it was too late. After the death crusades and the assaults on the celestial realms Nerull tempted her to his side to begin tipping the scales of power in his favor.

    Goddess of nature and bounty Yondalla was the favored deity of halflings before the Era of Nerull. Like other gods of nature as Nerullís power increased on the material plane hers steadily decreased until she was cut off entirely. She seeks to recommune with her lost followers and put Nerull back in his place.
    Last edited by Satyrus; 2010-12-08 at 01:36 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    Races of the Living Nations
    The races in the era of Nerull have diverged into those that were raised in the dead nations and those in the living. Battles between the living races has come to a standstill as they all recognize the atrocity of the undead and have trained against them in preparation for the inevitable attack. The living nations are Narsil, Grisal, Durgoth, The City of Wind and Wave, Inba, Dekmar, Gondu, the Cohar Republic and the Haven. Those on land have erected massive barriers of iron and magic to ward away the undead. Inside these massive city-nations are tightly controlled regimes but they are safe and at peace. Outside their borders lurk semi-barren wastelands and undead of all kinds waiting to prey on the fools that trespass.

    Living Nations General Alterations to Races: All members of the living nations have received special training to combat undead and receive a +1 to hit and damage against corporeal undead. This ability has also been placed in each races entry just in case some people donít read this.

    Dwarves are only found in the remains of the kingdom of Durgoth and Grisal and have been forced deep into their mountain homes where they can hide and resist any undead incursions most efficiently.

    Dwarves are physically the same as those described in the Playerís Handbook but have their racial abilities have been modified as follows.

    -Undead Training: This ability replaces the normal bonus against goblinoids as well as the dodge bonus to AC versus giants as they are no longer the primary opponents of dwarves. Whenever fighting a corporeal undead they receive a +1 to hit and damage rolls.

    The elves have been forced back almost exclusively to the Frozen Archipelago in the north from Inba and Dekmar but remnant populations in other nations still exist.

    Due to their more northerly position elves have become a bit more stocky from their ancestors being only slightly thinner than a normal human. The following changes have been made to the racial abilities of the elves from the Playerís Handbook.

    - Undead Training: As everywhere else among the free nations the elves have been fighting the undead for over a millennia almost exclusively and have trained against them specifically. When fighting corporeal undead elves receive a +1 to hit and damage rolls.

    - Detect Undead: The elves have honed their natural talent for the arcane to give themselves an edge against the often silent menace of undead. Elves have the ability to detect undead (as the spell) within a 60 ft. radius as a supernatural ability. This ability replaces their usual ability to sense secret doors.

    Gnomes in the living nations are very rare only those populations which were lucky enough to migrate to the civilized lands prior to the death crusades escaped enslavement. They are almost exclusively found in the city of Wind and Wave but small pockets can also be found in Narsil.

    Gnomes are physically unchanged from their statistics in the Playerís Handbook but have the following adjustments to their racial abilities.

    Undead Training: When the undead appeared skirmishes with kobolds rapidly diminished and new training was instilled in the rising generations. When fighting corporeal undead gnomes have a +1 to hit and damage, this is in place of their bonuses against kobolds and giants.

    Illusion Focus: Gnomes receive a +2 to illusion spell DCs.

    Goblins (Cohar republic)
    Goblins are a playable race in the Era of Nerull but only those that grew up in the Cohar Republic, normal goblins as detailed in the Monster Manual still exist as well. Those from the Cohar Republic have been groomed for thousands of years and socially stratified to play up on their races natuarally cunning as scouts and trapmakers of the nations forces.

    Goblins are physically unchanged from the description in the Monster Manual but have been adjusted to be a playable race without level adjustment.

    - -2 Str, +2 Dex
    - Small Size
    - Land Speed 30ft.
    - Darkvision 60 ft.
    Undead Training: Scouts of the Republicís army need to be trained in combating their most common foe to give them all the advantage they can get. When fighting corporeal undead goblins receive a +1 to hit and damage.
    - Undead Trapper: Goblins have always been crafty but the Cohar Republic has turned that into a profession to fight undead. Goblins always have Craft(Trapmaking) as a class skill. Any trap a goblin crafts that is triggered by undead deals +2 damage to the undead. This damage increases every 5th level; +4 at 5th level, +6 at 10th level, +8 at 15th level and +10 at 20th level.

    In the living nations half-elves have become extremely rare as elves and human populations have been largely isolated from each other.

    Half-elves are the same physically as those in the Playerís Handbook and have the following addition to their racial abilities.

    -Undead Training: With undead hordes wandering about outside the borders of the living nations it has become common practice to instruct the people on how to fight such creatures effectively. When fighting corporeal undead half-elves receive a +1 to hit and damage.

    Half-orcs (Outside the Cohar Republic)
    Though rare small half-orc populations still exist and though they continue to be subjected to some prejudice from the Great War millennia ago that has been washed away by the terror of the undead. They have also had time to adapt to more developed culture and have shown themselves to be as mentally capable as any human.

    Half-orcs have the same physical characteristics as those detailed in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - They no longer receive a -2 to intelligence
    - Undead Training: As the rest of the civilians of the living nations half-orcs have received the benefits of special training to combat undead. When fighting corporeal undead they receive a +1 to hit and damage.

    Half-orcs (Cohar Republic)
    In the Cohar Republic where goblinoids and humans have lived together in harmony since before the undead rose a social stratification has lead to half-orcs being the scholars of their nation.

    Half-orcs have the same physical characteristic as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - Undead Training: Half-orcs receive special training to combat the undead that are constantly on their doorstep. When fighting corporeal undead half-orcs receive a +1 to hit and damage.
    - +2 Int, -2 Cha
    - Undead Knowledge: Well versed in the lore of different kinds of undead and their favorite tactics half-orcs can assess their enemy in battle to better evade their attacks. Half-orcs of the Cohar Republic always have Knowledge(religion) as a class skill and can make a Knowledge(religion) check as a swift action when encountering undead. The DC is 15 and grants a +2 insight bonus to AC against that type of undead for the encounter. This bonus is not available when a half-orc is immobilized or otherwise denied their dexterity bonus.

    Halflings continue to make up a small percentage of each of the free nations, except the Cohar Republic, as they have historically.

    Halflings have the same physical characteristics as described in the Playerís Handbook and have the following alterations to their racial abilities.

    - Undead Training: In place of their traditional skill with slings and thrown weapons halflings along with all other races in the living nations have received special training on how to fight undead. When fighting corporeal undead halflings receive a +1 to hit and damage.
    - Life Suppression: Halflings are physically weak and have always excelled at stealth and they have developed an innate ability to do so against undead. A number of time per day equal to Ĺ their HD a Halfling may mock the effects of a Hide from Undead spell for a number of rounds equal to their constitution modifier.

    Hobgoblin (Cohar Republic)
    In the Cohar Republic the goblinoid races have been socially stratified and augmented all their old practices as a tribal society. In the case of hobgoblins that was a military tradition and they have become the core soldiers of the Republicís army.

    Hobgoblins are physically the same as though described in the Monster Manual but their racial abilities have been altered as follows to make them a playable race.

    - +2 Str, -2 Cha
    - Land Speed 30 ft.
    - Darkvision 60ft.
    - Undead Training: Hobgoblins, as soldiers against the undead hordes have been given special training against these creatures. When fighting corporeal undead hobgoblins receive a +1 to hit and damage rolls.
    - Steady Hand: As the rank and file of the army hobgoblins have to be ready to combat any kind of undead that come their way, including incorporeal. To accomplish this magical experimentation and planned breeding were used to give the hobgoblins an innate ability. A number of times per day as a free action a hobgoblin may give any melee weapon(s) they are wielding the Ghost Touch property and a +1 enchantment bonus for a number of minutes equal to their HD.

    Humans make up the majority of the living nation and have proved to be resourceful in desperate times. They also are most prone to corruption unfortunately and gambles at power or prestige in an error where things worse than death could literally be at your doorstep.

    Humans are physically the same as those described in the Playerís Handbook and have the following modifications to their racial abilities.

    - Undead Training: All the living nations have received special training against undead and receive a +1 to hit and damage rolls when fighting corporeal undead.

    Orcs (Cohar Republic)
    While the tribal orcs that most think of still exist in the world of Nesda those in the Cohar Republic have developed substantially from while maintaining a bit of their hot blood as the shock troops of the Cohar Republicís army.

    Orcs are physically the same as described in the Monster Manual but their racial abilities have been altered as follows to make them a playable race.

    - +2 Str, -2 Cha
    - Land Speed 30ft.
    - Darkvision 60ft.
    - Undead Training: Troops of the Republicís army need to be trained in combating their most common foe to give them all the advantage they can get. When fighting corporeal undead orcs receive a +1 to hit and damage.
    - Rage: Playing up the blood rage of their ancestorís into a military advantage the orcs can rage 1/day as a first level barbarian. This ability stacks with classes that give the rage ability so that an orc rages one level higher than they actually are.

    Races of the Dead Nations
    The races in the dead nations that are alive were mostly captured in the Death Crusades when whole nations were conquered and great battles still ensued. Most of them have known nothing but slavery in their lives. The Dead Nations are The Burning Lands of Nikala, The Laughing Mistressí Chambers and the Unholy Empire which are ruled by the Death Generals Nikala, Tasha and Broog respectively.

    Dead Nations General Alterations to Races: All living members of the Dead Nations have had to adapt to a land filled with plague, disease and most prevalently negative energy. All living races that grew up in the Dead Nations receive Negative Energy Resistance 5 and a +2 on fortitude saves because of those conditions. These abilities are also noted in each entry in case people do not read this entry.

    Captured in battle and spared from food for ghouls or other such abominations dwarves have proven themselves to be excellent workhorses for the dead nations though they are often stubborn. New small clans have formed within the dead nations in response to being cut off from their own nations and by this time most dwarves alive were born into slavery.

    Dwarves share the same physical characteristics as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves, this stacks with the dwarves standard resistance to poison.
    - Dwarves in the dead nations are slaves and have no training in combat. They lose their +4 dodge bonus against giants, their +1 against goblinoids and their racial weapon proficencies.
    - Negative Energy Resistance: Living in the territory of the dead with negative energy swarming all about has given living creatures that grew up there a degree of natural resistance which comes in handy when negative energy is a favorite form of punishment. Dwarves gain Negative Energy Resistance 5.

    Elves are rare in the Dead Nations as they are weaker of body than other races and succumb more readily to disease and physical abuse that are so commonplace. Those that have survived have been changed much like the other slaves.

    Elves of the dead nations are physically the same as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Elves that grew up in the Dead Nations have never received the benefits of their races training in martial or arcane aspects. Elves natural sensitivity to magical doors and their racial weapon proficiencies are removed.
    - Negative Energy Resistance: The harsh environment of the Dead Nations has made sure that only those resistant to Negative Energy survive. Elves of the Dead Nations receive resistance 5 to Negative Energy.
    - Dracolich Favored: Because of their more innate understanding of magic and their long life spans dracoliches favor elves as their patriarchs. Elves receive a +5 to social skill checks when dealing with a dracolich and are treated as one step friendlier than normal, as far as an undead caged dracolich can be friendly.

    Almost the entirety of the gnome race has been enslaved in the Sharran Desert where the Death General Nikala has set them to rebuilding her ancestral home of AkíManus as they were artisans and architects upon their enslavement at the onset of the Death Crusades.

    Gnomes have the same physical characteristics as those described in the Playerís Handbook but have had their racial abilities adjusted as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Gnomes in the dead nations have not had conflicts with their old kobold enemies in millennia and under Nikalaís rule they certainly wonít receive any martial training. Gnomes bonus against kobolds and their racial weapon proficencies are removed.
    - Negative Energy Resistance: As in all the other Dead Nations negative energy is part of everyday life and only those with some degree of natural resistance have thrived. Gnomes gain resistance to Negative Energy 5.
    - Tainted Illusion: While not able to practice their natural knack for illusions against the undead long exposure to negative energy has changed their natural magic. By infusing negative energy into their illusions gnomes can affect undead that are normally immune to mind-effecting abilities except fear effects in the target is not sentient. This ability replaces their standard illusion DC bonus.

    In the Dead Nations half-elves are relatively rare and have been chosen for a special purpose. They are the link between the undead masters and their slaves, they relay orders and in return usually receive at least some leeway over other slaves.

    Half-elves are physically the same as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as followed.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Negative Energy Resistance: Even as favored slaves half-elves receive punishment and have endured the negative energies as well. Half-elves receive resistance 5 to Negative Energy.
    - Dealer: When encountering a sentient creature with a negative or neutral attitude a half-elf may take a swift action to make a diplomacy check versus an opposing sense motive check to move the subject one step towards friendly. This can only be used once per encounter and battle with the creature automatically cancels the effect, a language must be shared in order to use this ability.

    In the Dead Nations the undead rulers have encouraged the racial hatred of goblinoids such as half-orcs and then given them the role of slave drivers. The cycle of hatred continues and helps the undead keep the living creatures from becoming united into any resistance.

    Half-orcs have the same physical characteristics as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Remove the -2 to intelligence
    - Negative Energy Resistance: Even as slave drivers, half-orcs are still slaves themselves and have built up some tolerance to negative energy. Half-orcs receive resistance to Negative Energy 5.
    - Overseer: Once per encounter a half-orc of the dead nations may make an intimidate action as a swift action with a +2 bonus versus a sense motive check. If the target loses the check they are shaken for 1d4 rounds.

    Halflings are not good physical laborers and tend to become easily depressed in the dead nations, even more so than the other slaves, and so have been delegated to maintenance and odd jobs that require dexterous hands or small bodies.

    Halflings have the same physical characteristics as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Negative Energy Resistance: Halflings have been subjected to the same environment as all the other slaves of the dead nations and have built a tolerance to negative energy. Halflings receive Negative Energy resistance 5.
    - The traditional Halfling traditions of skilled throwing are long forgotten. Halflings no longer receive bonuses to thrown weapons or slings.
    - Scurry: Being ordered to fix structures by climbing into them halflings in the dead nations have become adept at moving about in confined spaces. Halflings can move at full speed in places that would be considered a tight squeeze for their size, this includes swimming and climbing speed.

    Humans make up the majority of the living population in the dead nations.

    Humans have the same physical characteristics as those described in the Playerís Handbook but their racial abilities have been altered as follows.

    - +2 to fortitude saves
    - Negative Energy Resistance: Humans, like all others slaves of the dead nations, have built up a tolerance to the negative energy that penetrates the very air. Humans receive Negative Energy resistance 5.


    Book of Challenges
    Complete Series
    Dungeon Masterís Guide
    Dungeon Masterís Guide II
    Fiend Folio I
    Fiend Folio II
    Heroes of Battle
    Heroes of Horror
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Monster Manual
    Playerís Handbook
    Playerís Handbook II
    Races of the Dragon
    Savage Species
    Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords


    Book of Vile Darkness
    Book of Exalted Deeds
    Dragon Magic
    Expanded Psionics Handbook
    Forgotten Realms
    Magic of Incarnum
    Miniatures Handbook
    Psionics Handbook
    Tome of Magic
    Unearthed Arcana

    PC Base Classes

    Dragon Shaman
    Dread Necromancer
    Favored Soul
    Void Risen*
    * Class Altered/New


    Psychic Warrior

    Custom NPC Classes


    Druid: Druids not from the Haven take the shapeshifting alternate class feature from PHBII as a default. All druid spellcasting is mechanically identical to standard 3.5 DnD but fluff-wise they use reverse necromancy to cast spells and use their powers.

    Hexblade: Modified from Complete Warrior base class by Mephibosheth on GITP used with permission..

    Shadewalker: Custom Class created by me(will post class soon)

    Warlock: Altered at a playerís request.
    Last edited by Satyrus; 2010-12-03 at 02:12 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    Reserved for more stuff to come!!!!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    Maybe just one more...

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    OK really last one, I promise!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    I hate to break it to you Satyrus, but you're using an old version of Ashriel.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    I think I may have just forgotten to update it anywhere so would you please enlighten me about what needs to be altered.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: The World of Nesda(Campaign Setting) - The Era of Nerull

    Not a problem. As a warning I've thought more on some of his choices but it shouldn't matter to much.

    First, Ashriel is true neutral. He could probably be fit into either category but law full neutral gives him paladins.

    His domains are Shadow, knowledge, and spell. Originally I told you I was replacing magic with shadows instead of trickery but in retrospect this probably makes more sense.

    In the current game thats it, but here it might be worth mentioning that he has an empire.

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